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“this hotel is great”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #16 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“this hotel is great”
Reviewed 6 February 2008

hi we traveled there for two week's in may with two kids and we love it this hotel has great food i'm mean great we're piky and we found great good for two week's the beach was ok not like the mayan rivieira but ok the people are great and the rooms where so nice

  • Liked — hotel and food
  • Disliked — beach
  • Stayed May 2006, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank portugesegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Edmonton, Alberta
Level Contributor
61 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2008

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta over New Year's (Jan. '08). The hotel was at full capacity and did not seem able to handle the number of guests. We arrived at the hotel at about 7:30 p.m. but our entire bus had to wait hours for a room. We got a room at 10:30 p.m. I would expect that problem if we arrived in the morning, but at that hour it was unreasonable. Not everyone received the type of room they paid for, and some families found there were not enough beds in the room for their children and their kids had to sleep on the floor.

Everyone told us to be sure to use the hotel safe in the room. The problem, unfortunately was that there were not enough keys for the safes. We couldn't get a key until the following day, and actually had to go back to the front desk about six times before getting one (each time being told to come back in an hour or so, which was very disruptive to our day). There seemed to be a shortage of many things, such as boogie boards at the beach and towels in the room. We always had to ask for more towels as the maids never left enough. We also had to ask for more bottled water (which was supposed to be restocked every second day).

As for cleanliness, I did not see a single bug in the hotel. However, the rooms were not cleaned to our liking. The sheets were not changed on a daily basis and the bed spread had stains on it. When the bedding was changed, the maids simply swapped the stained bedding to the other bed. The beds were also smaller than a regular double bed and placed touching each other, so we felt like one big happy family all sleeping together. The room did not make me feel like I was staying at a five star hotel. It was my first trip to Mexico and I expected more for a five star resort.

The buffet meals were fine, although they tended to be repetitive as the week went on. There were three a la carte restaurants. You had to book a dinner setting I lined up at 6:50 a.m. and watched the sunrise with my fellow travellers. Half an hour later I was at the front of the line only to discover that there were no tables left at Sir George. We never did manage to eat there. The Asian restaurant was a buffet and not worth the line. Flamingos steakhouse was nice because they cooked your steak to order so it was hot instead of "buffet warm". Aside from the steak, the rest of the meal was also buffet.

The hotel has two beautiful looking swimming pools, including one adult pool. Unfortunately the water was even colder than the ocean and there were very few people swimming in the pools. Even the children complained that it was cold. The lawn chairs around the pool were very relaxing.

The hotel itself was situated on a beautiful stretch of beach. No stones in the water. Sea kayaks were available for free for 30 minute intervals, as were boogie boards (if you could get one). Jet skis were $50 for 30 minutes.

The hotel had a lot of organised events and entertainment. For example, there were exercises in the pool (although the class was often cancelled due to insufficient numbers - perhaps because of the pool temperature), shooting and volleyball. It seemed like there was seldom enough time to try everything (at least if you do a lot of day trips). There was entertainment every night ranging from karaoke, to Grease, to comedy, to Mexican dancing. I was pleased with the entertainment.

Overall we had a good time in Puerto Vallarta. The highlight of the trip was the beach. The hotel had a few disappointments while we were there, but maybe that was because my expectations of a five star Mexican resort were too high.

  • Liked — Located on a beautiful strech of beach
  • Disliked — Comfort and cleanliness lacking in the room
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank MtnBrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2008

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta Jan. 2 thru Feb. 1st. It is hard to give a hotel and excellent rating because I always think there is room for improvement but considering our overall experience with comments we heard from all 51 people in our group this hotel was a winner!

The grounds are wonderful. Very impressive placement and overall architecture. The pool was the best we have enjoyed in 24 trips to different locations. The "in the water" - loungers and bar stools along with the swim-up bar were a real taste of luxury. The loungers beside the pools were top of the line and were placed nicely by choice of shade or sun.

The beach is endless and the water playfull. They have free use of kayaks and boogie boards. We found the beach vendors very nice and considerate. An added treat was watching the dolphins and whales in the bay while there.

The rooms are tastefully decorated - all with a balcony. We had "run of the house" rooms situated on all sides of the resorts and heard no complaints of excessive noise at bedtime. Afterall, we are in a hotel with hundreds of other people.

The Lobby area is very beautiful and definitely first class. They also have public showers available for late departures.

On one controversial subject: We did not find the smoking an issue. We found that although there are no "no smoking" signs posted there was no smoking inside the buffet or any of the ala-carte restaurant. Again, you are in a resort with 100's of people. If that is an issue, maybe a condo would be a better choice.

The staff was very helpful and we saw no difference in service with or without a tip however we tipped the housekeeping, bartenders and servers and felt is was appreciated. The receptionist personnel were also helpful. We had two incidences where we forgot to get our beach towel cards back and another time where phone calls were charged to a room. Both times, they respected our trust and did not charge us.

The food especially in the morning and evening buffets was exceptional. How could anyone want anything more with all the fresh fruit, breads, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, desserts, omelets, french toast, pancakes, toast, the list goes on and on. The evening buffet was equally diversified. From pork, beef, huge shrimp, other fish, chicken, pastas etc... Have no idea how anyone can say the food gets boring because no one can eat even a little of everything they have. If they didn't have it - my guess is that we just didn't find it. And they have the very best soft serve ice cream in the snack luncheon buffet.

The alacarte restaurants were also very good. Everyone had a different favorite so I think it just depends on your personal preference.

The entertainment is typical Mexico resort type but we found it enjoyable with small bands playing in the evening in the plaza and dancing. It was our 42nd wedding anniversary and one of our group, said to us , "What a party they planned for you!" The shows are from 9 to 10 pm and were cute. We did not take part of the disco. Forgot it was there!

They have Internet service for $8 (U.S) for an hour but if you sign up for a Riu card ,which we suggest you do online before arrival, you get two hours instead of one. You can always share your time with a friend.

They also have a doctor on staff.

Although we had guest privileges also at the Riu Jalisco, to our knowledge - noone in our group even went over there except to walk-thru which tells us they were content at the Riu Vallarta.

All in all, we found the Riu Vallarta a first class resort, with a first class staff complimented by first class weather! We would definitely recommend it to others.

  • Liked — Overall layout of the resort, staff, beach, pool, accommadations
  • Disliked — None
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank dmfalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Avila Beach, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2008

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta for a week in January 2008 with a group of friends and found it to be one of those Vegas-style mega resorts that caters mostly to the younger crowd. Even the watered-down drinks didn't seem to affect the boisterous group of party animals gathered all day around the pool swim-up bars. If that is what you want in a vacation, then you won't be disappointed.

The hotel is relatively new, but the decor was a bit over the top for our taste. There is a lot of activity and entertainment going on in the central courtyard so if you want quiet, ask for a room away from the courtyard and gazebo bar. Luckily, our room, a junior suite, was located well away from the courtyard and had a lovely view of the ocean. The room was very nice, quite comfortable, and always kept in spotless condition. The hotel has nice grounds, a good beach, and we could actually see whales from our room.

Since this is an all-inclusive hotel, the food is an important consideration. To be honest, we found the food at the main buffet to be more quantity than quality. Every day, it had the same choices and occasionally we would happen upon some fish or chicken fresh off the grill that was pretty tasty. But, mostly it was mediocre. Don't even try the Nirvana specialty (asian-style) restaurant---it was just terrible. This really was some sort of chinese-mexican fusion that just didn't work on any level. The Sir George specialty restaurant was a bit better, but nothing to write home about. Same goes for the Flamingo beachfront restaurant, except for the nice view of the water.

We found the hotel staff to be very accommodating and they are trying to
make this a good experience for their guests. The food is the big area they need to work on. We had great weather in January and got some great golf in at some of the courses nearby.

  • Liked — room, views
  • Disliked — food, architecture
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hallpass48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vancouver, bc
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2008

My wife and I stayed 01-26 - 02-02. First of all the good: The hotel is fairly new and very clean. The housekeeping was very well done and the rooms have a convienent mini bar althought only stocked every second day. The beach is very nice, the sand was warm and a golden brown. The ocean is definately not the carribean, you can not see your feet but the water was very warm and clean. The pools are wonderful a good size for the hotel and as in previous reveiws I didn't find them cold (cool yes) at all. The buffets were OK, typical Mexican all inclusive, decent selection of food. We went to Sir George Ala Carte, it was good, I was actually suprised at how good the beef tasted. Didn't try the other 2 Ala Cartes so no comment. There were kayaks and boogie boards to use at the beach which was nice instead of just wadding in the water. If you go out early in the kayak when the water is calm there was usually a family of dolphins about 200 ft off shore, it was amazing.
Now for the bad: The hotel is u shape with a centre court yard with a bar in the middle and most of the rooms face the court yard. During the day this area is nice and quite but at 6pm a live band starts playing which normally would be fine but their volume was so loud that it wasn't even enjoyable. At 9pm the band finally stops when the, questionable at best, entertainment starts. By the way the theater area is also in the court yard. After the show is done around 10 everyone gathers around the bar which becomes very loud. At 11 people then go to the disco which is also in the court yard and then at 2am when everyone is completely wasted they all come pilling out of the disco. So if you intend on wanting to go to bed before 230 or 3am make sure you bring ear plugs, or better yet ask for one of the rooms that is on the outside of the resort. I could go on forever on how badly this was designed for general guest comfort. On the beach there are vendors that will constantly ask you all day long to buy their stuff. The same vendor will come to you like every hour, I guess the good thing is they do go away after saying no thank you only once.
Now for the ugly: I ended up getting violently ill for over 24 hrs which I presume was food poisoning and couldn't eat anything the day after either. Now I've been to 6 AI's through Mexico and the Carribean and have never expierence anything like this, I thought for sure I was going to die. And the absolute worst thing about this place is there was nowhere to escape the cigarette smoke. The theater, the restuarants, I meen they permitted smoking everywhere and the thing is was there were no non-smoking areas. It was disgusting. This is not typical for Mexico because the hotels we stayed at in Playa del Carmen and Cancun were all fully non-smoking.
In general, we had nice vacation. Enjoyed whale watching, do it on a zodiac for sure, unfortunately didn't get into town do to the getting sick. Would definately not return to this hotel or try any other RIU's for that matter, would probabley even be a little reluctant to return to to this area again.
If you already booked don't worry I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves, if your reveiwing b4 you book think about another hotel for sure.

  • Liked — The beach location
  • Disliked — the no no-smoking areas
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank maprigtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
niagara, ontario
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2008

My husband and I have just returned from our one week stay at the Riu Vallarta. We have been to other all inclusives in PV, but what a fabulous place this is! We read some of the negative reviews posted on this site and we were a little worried. But this hotel met and exceeded every one of our expectations. Rooms and facilities are beautiful, well maintained and very clean (staff was continually cleaning everywhere!!). Restaurant and wait staff were excellent (friendliest and most helpful people I have ever encountered- whether you tipped or not). Food was fantastic - lots of variety and well prepared and presented. The 5 bars were very popular but we always managed to be served in a timely manner. Yes, the drinks are watered down a bit - but that's a good thing in my opinion. Some of the guests drank from sunup to sundown and I can't imagine how you could handle so many tipsy people!

There was always something to do (or nothing to do if you prefer).
The evening shows were a little amateurish, but the Wednesday and Thursday night ones were very good. Those young staff members work very hard to please the guests. They're ready all day and night long to play volleyball, joke with the guests, dance in the evening and run the discos at night! They deserve a lot of credit.

My only complaint is regarding the rude guests that come back to their rooms late at night and whoop and holler in the hallways (but that's not the hotel's fault!)

My only suggestion for the Riu would be to place an ATM machine in the hotel.

Don't believe the negative comments made by other overly critical reviewers. You will have a wonderful holiday here!

  • Liked — clean, good service, great food
  • Disliked — no ATM machine available
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank DaveGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2008

I spent a great week here, the staff was amazing, the food amoung the best for an all inclusive, the housekeeping excellent, the weather perfect...there was nothing that could of been done or handled better!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — there was NOTHING negative
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chicago896
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Vallarta

Property: Hotel Riu Vallarta
Address: Av de Los Cocoteros s/n | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 445
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In Riviera Nayarit, overlooking the Pacific Ocean * Located on Playa de Flamingos beach, 2 km / 1.5 miles from Nuevo Vallarta * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 9-story building * 3 km / 1.86 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.62 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

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